Fantasy Festival

Kerrang 1998

As he prepares to play Reading 98 Dave Grohl tackles our challenge to create the perfect festival.

The Grohlfest:
A castle in England. "I'll have to buy one." Notes Mr Grohl.
The vibe:"I'm gonna be totally selfish and choose a bunch of bands that I'd love," he says. "Nobody would come, but I'd like it!"

The Earthlings
"They're from Joshua Tree, in the desert just outside Los Angeles, where U2 shot that album cover. I call them 'soundcraftsmen'. They do some freaky shit, taking peyote and picking up whatever instrument is in the room. They also write ridiculously nonesensical lyrics. It'd be a good way to start the day."

Fu Manchu
"Just to get everyone kinda movin'. These guys would also continue the southern Californian vibe that started with The Earthlings. It would feel like a Los Angeles skate-park in 1976. We'd need that Californian vibe because it would be raining. Why? Because the Grohlfest would definitely be in England because American festivals suck!"

"I like everything about this band. By this time it's around 2pm and everyones getting their beer buzz going, so Verbena would sound perfect: they have this drunken swagger, total sex-rock. They'd really get the kids loving each other. By the time we come on at the end of the night, everyone will be shagging. It'll be the Shag-Fest 2000!"

Mark Lanegan
"Because everyone's getting sexy and hooking up, we need something that's a little less abrasive, so Mark Lanegan would be just fine. I'm a huge fan of everything he's done, both solo and with the Screaming Trees. His first solo album, 'The Winding Sheet', changed the way I write. It was just so gentle and delicate and darker than anything I'd ever gotten into. There is a subtle pain in the music. And his voice is so human and rasping and real. Mark Lanegan really opened up the acoustic side of me. One of the old Nirvana B-sides, 'Marigold' - it was on the 'Heart Shaped Box' single - was totally inspired by Mark."

"'Decksanddrumsandrockandroll'! I love it! We'd need to pick it up a little after Mark Lanegan and the Propellerheads are so fucking cool. 'Bang On' is one of the coolest synthetic rock songs I've ever heard."

"I'd get the original Kyuss line-up back together especially for the Grohlfest. That would be a big deal. When I got 'Blues For A Red Sun' back in'92 I listened to nothing else for weeks. After that record, everything that I considered heavy just seemed wimpy. then thay had to break up! The story of my life...."

The Obsessed
"Can I have two bands reforming in one day? Good. My first hardcore band opened up for The Obsessed in 1984." They were amazing: full-on dirge-rock craziness! The audience at their gigs were pretty wild. The Obsessed's crowd were bikers from Maryland, plus you'd get all these hardcore skater kids there too. The Obsessed pretty much blow away every other band I've ever seen."

Frank Black
"He recorded most of his latest album ('Frank Black And The Catholics') on a two-track and it just sounds incredible. It's the best thing he's ever done, but he can't find a label in America. Unbelievable: he's got one of the greatest rock albums around and he can't get the thing released! Maybe a spot on the Grohlfest would help. Maybe not."

"I love to watch them live. We toured with them for three weeks in America. I'm a huge fan of both their albums, but they're so different live - kind of loose but they manage to keep it all together. They make being great look effortless. They're a real rock band. Just total rock!"

The Prodigy
"Before we go on we should have someone shitty play, so that we look good. But on the other hand, we need to sell tickets, so we'll get The Prodigy to play. We wouldn't really want to follow them, because The Prodigy are the ultimate festival band. There are two bands you never want to follow: The Prodigy and Rage Against The Machine."

Foo Fighters
"After The Prodigy people will probably start drifting away, but by that time we'll be too drunk to care. We'll have to make a big entrance, so we'll be 'coptered in: we'll get choppered right onto the stage! And at the end we'll exit by blowing each other up. We'll sit on mortars and that would be that!"

"There would be snowboarding, pro' boarders showing off their stuff. We'd have a cake-decorating tent too, something for the kids to really get into. And skeet shooting, little clay dishes that you blast with rifles. That'll be cool when everyone's drunk."